From the Washoe County School District:
The William N. Pennington Foundation has funded a $400,000 grant to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) in support of the High School Signature Academies. Founded by the late gaming pioneer and philanthropist, William N. Pennington, the Pennington Foundation provides support to Nevada non-profit organizations. This is part of the Foundation's ongoing commitment to support Washoe County schools and students.
The Edward C. Reed High School Enterprise Project and North Valleys Center for Agricultural Science & Engineering (CASE) will both receive approximately $140,000 for the 2013-14 school year. Four other Signature Academies located at Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology, McQueen High School, Spanish Springs High School, and Sparks High School will receive between $25,000 and $40,000 each to support program expansion.
"The William N. Pennington Foundation has truly made an investment in our future, and we are grateful for this generous gift to our Signature Academies," said Superintendent Pedro Martinez. "These academies are preparing students to enter college or the workforce and do their part to make our community and our economy stronger. The support of the foundation is helping to make these programs possible."
The WCSD Signature Academies provide innovative programs for students who want to explore specific programs, topics, and themes during their high school careers while continuing to take classes in core subjects including math, science, and English. The academies offer career- and industry-based programs that provide students with an opportunity to explore areas of interest while still in high school.
"The generosity of the William N. Pennington Foundation will provide the necessary resources for Reed High School to expand their programs to include studies in the high demand field of Civil & Environmental Engineering," said Dana Ryan, director of Signature Academies and Career/Technical Education (CTE). "As well, this gift will allow North Valleys High School to respond to the interest and needs of their community— taking the first steps in implementing a comprehensive agricultural program which will include an on-site greenhouse. These monies will positively impact hundreds of students in that school, and our district, for years to come."
The Edward C. Reed High School Enterprise Project offers curriculum focusing on Engineering, Biomedical Studies, and Culinary Arts. Approximately 100 students are currently enrolled in the three areas of study with approximately 28 freshmen entering the newly formed Civil & Environmental Engineering Program.
This course of study will provide opportunities for students to apply concepts of alternative energy and environmental responsibility to structure and transportation design.The project-based structure of the program will mirror real-life working situations, providing skills for students who decide to go on to college or pursue careers in related fields upon graduation from high school. During their high school years, students earn simultaneous college credits and participate in job shadows and internships to further their educational goals.
North Valleys High School will enhance its research academy to focus on the study of agriculture, and will be known as the Center for Agricultural Sciences & Engineering (CASE). A pathway in agricultural engineering will be added for the 2013-14 school, with plans to expand into agribusiness, nutrition, and resource management in the future. Students entering the Engineering Program will learn about water management, electricity, engines, and mechanical design and construction in the context of agriculture.
These courses will prepare them for degree and certification programs in one of the many agriculture and natural resource programs throughout the nation. CASE will also be affiliated with FFA (Future Farmers of America), a well-known national student organization which provides leadership and career exploration opportunities for students in agriculture and related fields.
Other high schools receiving funding include the Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology (AACT) Business Academy, Robert McQueen Global Studies Academy, Spanish Springs C3 Media Academy, and Sparks Microsoft Information Technology Academy of Excellence.
From the Washoe County School District